NOV 28, 2017 12:39 PM PST

Red Kite Conservation Hindered by New Factors, Study Finds

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The red kite (Milvus milvus) is a European predatory bird that weathered difficult times throughout the 80’s. After a close call with extinction, conservationists took steps between 1989 and 2006 to revitalize populations and released more than 326 red kites to the wild.

Meet the red kite, a predatory bird experiencing some hardship in Europe.

Image Credit: Pixabay

The red kite’s populations began to rebound over time, painting a beautiful picture of an animal conservation success story. On the other hand, conservationists now worry that contemporary factors at the hands of humans hinder what were once extensive conservation efforts.

In a study published this week in the European Journal of Wildlife Research, researchers detail their concerns after conducting post-mortem examinations on 162 deceased red kites. Toxicological analyses performed on 110 of those 162 red kites underscore a real danger to the birds: poisoning from human-made sources like pesticides, rodenticides, and lead ammunition.

Related: Recent hurricane impacts disturb conservation efforts for two elusive birds

Out of the 110 birds tested for ingested toxins, at least 32 of those birds had passed away from poisoning associated with the sources mentioned above.

As predatory birds, red kites often munch on bite-sized birds, mammals, or reptiles. Many of these smaller animals become impacted by hunters’ shotgun ammunition or ingest food peppered with pesticides and rodenticides. Consequently, red kites ingest these toxins when devouring their natural prey.

The sample of red kites impacted by these kinds of poisoning is much smaller than the original sample size, but conservationists argue that these losses slow the red kite’s recovery rate and prevent their populations from increasing at their fullest potential.

While red cite conservation tactics unquestionably continue, following more environmentally-friendly practices to mitigate further harm to the species could make these efforts exponentially more efficient than they are today and enable the species to flourish.

Related: Are birds getting smarter because of hunters?

Regulating pesticide and rodenticide use and using alternative building materials for shotgun ammunition are just some of the ways we can turn things around for the better, but it all comes down to how lawmakers will handle the situation in coming years.

Source: BBC

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAY 26, 2022
Technology
What is LiDAR? How Archaeologists See Through Forests to Find Ancient Ruins
MAY 26, 2022
What is LiDAR? How Archaeologists See Through Forests to Find Ancient Ruins
LiDAR, archaeologists joke that it’s ‘the dream’ when approaching large-scale field surveys, especiall ...
MAY 31, 2022
Microbiology
Even the Smallest Organisms Can Host Distinct Microbiomes
MAY 31, 2022
Even the Smallest Organisms Can Host Distinct Microbiomes
Even this juvenile nudibranch from Quadra Island, British Columbia, has a microbiome. / Image credit: Niels Van Steenkis ...
JUN 16, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Future emissions dependent on how we choose to end deforestation
JUN 16, 2022
Future emissions dependent on how we choose to end deforestation
We often associate deforestation with paper production, as someone might ask, “How many trees did you cut down to ...
JUN 24, 2022
Plants & Animals
New research strengthens understanding of how animals see, and in what colors
JUN 24, 2022
New research strengthens understanding of how animals see, and in what colors
We’ve all what animals see. Do they see the same way humans do in terms of colors, or is the vision of each animal ...
JUN 25, 2022
Genetics & Genomics
Similar 'Jumping Genes' are Active in Human and Octopus Brains
JUN 25, 2022
Similar 'Jumping Genes' are Active in Human and Octopus Brains
Cephalopods, including octopuses, have exceptionally large and complex nervous systems; the octopod brain is thought to ...
JUL 14, 2022
Plants & Animals
Using Worms to Study Precision Medicine
JUL 14, 2022
Using Worms to Study Precision Medicine
Personalized medicine refers to making decisions about treatment that are optimized to a specific individual, often as a ...
Loading Comments...